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  • managingmyopia 2:03 am on December 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Football 

    his story.asp?storycode=414432 eloquently describes College Football today.

    “When it comes to football, universities have hearty appetites, no matter their academic level. One hundred years ago, Yale University perfected a way of tackling that breaks your nose; students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology once reprogrammed Harvard University’s football scoreboard during the game; Harvard students like to yell: “Beat us now, work for us later!” When Robert Hass, the former US Poet Laureate, met with small-town business leaders, he found that they could all name the top local football players, but didn’t know the top students.”

    As a lover of basketball who never really followed college sports, I’ve been a bit confused about the high prioritization of sports. I’ve been unable to identify to the visceral reactions people hold when Michigan loses to Ohio State.

    The article suggests that sports make it easier to tell which school is better. “How to compare Michigan’s well-regarded master’s of fine arts in creative writing with the University of Southern California’s new PhD in the subject? A see-saw shelf of faculty books? Sport simplifies things: let the Wolverines and Trojans duke it out in the Rose Bowl.”

    The author compares it to the superficiality of the sixties, but notes that at the same time it’s hard to place a value judgment because it’s so economically productive. “Nixon called the idea “a cult of escapism” – which can reasonably be said of college sports as well. But American universities are banking – in every sense – on the social passion that sports can create: to join a project greater than ourselves.”

    How does a University reconcile being a world class institution and having it’s highest paid employee a football coach? Does the U even have to? It might say that it is simply responding to a demand. The U is a world-class education–how does it reconcile the education/for profit dichotomy?

     
  • managingmyopia 5:54 pm on December 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    This story.asp?storycode=414432 eloquent… 

    This story.asp?storycode=414432 eloquently describes College Football today.

    “When it comes to football, universities have hearty appetites, no matter their academic level. One hundred years ago, Yale University perfected a way of tackling that breaks your nose; students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology once reprogrammed Harvard University’s football scoreboard during the game; Harvard students like to yell: “Beat us now, work for us later!” When Robert Hass, the former US Poet Laureate, met with small-town business leaders, he found that they could all name the top local football players, but didn’t know the top students.”

    As a lover of basketball who never really followed college sports, I’ve been a bit confused about the high prioritization of sports. I’ve been unable to identify to the visceral reactions people hold when Michigan loses to Ohio State.

    The article suggests that sports make it easier to tell which school is better. “How to compare Michigan’s well-regarded master’s of fine arts in creative writing with the University of Southern California’s new PhD in the subject? A see-saw shelf of faculty books? Sport simplifies things: let the Wolverines and Trojans duke it out in the Rose Bowl.”

    The author compares it to the superficiality of the sixties, but notes that at the same time it’s hard to place a value judgment because it’s so economically productive. “Nixon called the idea “a cult of escapism” – which can reasonably be said of college sports as well. But American universities are banking – in every sense – on the social passion that sports can create: to join a project greater than ourselves.”

    How does a University reconcile being a world class institution and having it’s highest paid employee a football coach? Does the U even have to? It might say that it is simply responding to a demand. The U is a world-class education–how does it reconcile the education/for profit dichotomy?

     
  • managingmyopia 5:30 pm on December 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Mario Vargas Llosa 

    On reading: “Reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life”

    Ah, I wish I had understood this earlier in life.

     
  • managingmyopia 5:28 pm on December 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    I really want to see this documentary. A… 

    I really want to see this documentary. As a sort of suburban counterpart to Waiting for Superman, which praises urban schools for tougher test standards, “Race to Nowhere” chronicles the emotional struggles kids face living their lives based on building their resumes, and calls for all of us to get off the “treadmill.”

    I want to extend this argument–prematurely, to be sure, I haven’t even seen the film–to say that this competition isn’t bad, it’s just misguided. I’m saying that the problem isn’t that kids are juggling too many things, it’s that their doing them for the wrong reason. Instead of exploring their interests and cultivating passions, kids are choosing their activities based on what they think other people–mysterious future employers–want them to do. As a result, kids don’t do things because they want to, they do them because they think other people want them too, and this robs the purity out of their actions. Helping out at the park, at the church, at the retirement home–it’s all building a resume. When did that surpass building a life?

    Sure this pressure discourages kids from slacking off on their grades or not doing community service. It also discourages kids from exploring their passions. Starting a band? Going to a class they may not get an A in? Calling their grandma? Since these things won’t show on their resume, why would they do them?

    When does one stop living their lives based on a resume? Is it when one finishes college and now has a job and–just like that–has no more time to wander and discover themselves? Competition is a good thing, let’s just create a productive game that encourages kids to personally develop themselves. What kind of game would that like?

    As a result of this insane pressure on grades and resume building, we are churning out young adults who can game systems and people, as opposed to original self conscious thinkers who challenge the status quo. There’s a race to nowhere going on, and I hope the documentary shows how it starts way earlier than we think.

     

     
  • managingmyopia 4:40 pm on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Jay Z on “Decoded” 

    Profile of his album and the controversy over rap’s place in the literary dimension.

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/12/06/101206crat_atlarge_sanneh?currentPage=1

    Listeners: Can we consider rap to be poetry?

    P.S. Jay Z reads the economist.

     
  • managingmyopia 7:52 pm on November 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    About me and this project 

    As just posted on my other blog:

    http://thinkdonttank.blogspot.com/2010/11/another-reintroduction.html

     
  • managingmyopia 7:17 pm on November 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Meta blogging 

    Having introduced me to a variety of different blogs, this class has corroborated a mediocre theory I’ve been harboring about blogs. Blogs serve several purposes.

    One is to entertain. Some people do this through amusing social media or witty content told through a specific lens. Dr. Wizard–whose great–and Angry Asian Man are examples of this.

    One is to share. Some people have specific role or job or goal and are sharing the journey that they are undergoing. Some awesome blogs in this class, such as Adler’s Editions and Askanyone are doing this.

    One is to teach something specific. The cooking blog by the woman who gave us the technology seminar is an example.

    One is to show archives of thought. Several of the blogs I’ve discussed in previous posts do this.

    Granted, many of these roles overlap, but it’s interesting to explore what kind of identity your blog has. I feel like the blogging world–as in, readers–reward specialists. But I haven’t specialized not because I don’t have a field of expertise, I’ve avoided one deliberately.

    Instead of being a thought archive for myself, I want it to be a communal thought archive. I ideally want my blog (or website or whatever) to be a place where I read this finance article in the New Yorker, where I can barely understand the jargon, and then share it with finance professors and people I know whom work on wall street to learn from their takes. I find it interesting that instead of specializing, I’m trying to get my feet wet in other people’s specialties, learning just the gist for satiation.

    My blog, incidentally, has become a profile of other thinker’s blogs. I (possibly) aspire not to be an aggregator but a disseminator of thought. I provide the substance material and get conversations started. That’s what my initial blog project was all about. Some people have been very helpful. Some have been busy. I continue.

     
    • Victoria 6:23 am on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This was such a great post. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the purpose of my blog and I feel like this post really helps put blogs and their purpose into perspective. I found that this post helped me validate my blog’s purpose and gave me the confidence I need to continue blogging, sharing, showing, teaching, and entertaining. Thank you for the post!

  • managingmyopia 7:03 pm on November 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Another Blog Analysis 

    http://tomchatfield.blogspot.com/search/label/Google

    Tom, a technology enthusiast, uses his blog as a thought archive in a surprisingly simple format. Upon first glance, before uncovering his erudition, you might mistake this for an blog created by a high school student. Interestingly, he doesn’t allow comments, which is an important way to build a community around your blog. But this doesn’t seem to be his purpose. He seems more interested in disseminating his thoughts rather than defending them; he provides the option for readers to e-mail his posts.

     
  • managingmyopia 6:36 pm on November 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Example of Self-branding 

    http://www.danpink.com/

    Dan Pink, a author and thinker, has it all on his blog. In an appealing layout, he shares articles and thoughts, usually directly but also tangentially relating to the research he has done. He advertises through a multitude of social media sites, but here’s the thing: you don’t only see his books. He manages to show you a thought archive without being overwhelming. If you want to know what Dan Pink has been thinking the last ten years, it’s easy to do so.

     
  • managingmyopia 6:16 pm on November 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Gaming 

    three separate videos I’ve seen have forced me to reevaluate how I consider video games. I always had in the back of my mind–and on my reading list–Steve Johnson’s book “Everything bad is good for you” which shows how video games can be constructive, but I’ve never really taken it seriously.

    Perhaps because I played games that didn’t challenge the mind–NBA JAM 98, Mario Kart, etc–for hours on end, I had pushed any potential productiveness from games out my mind. Ever since I quit cold turkey, relatively early in my youth, I had always assumed them juvenile and a waste of time from other things, say, reading.

    But seeing these videos, ESPECIALLY Jane Mcgonigal’s, is shedding some light on the topic. The gaming industry, already bigger than the music industry, is growing, fast. People are obsessed. Games capture the minds of people where science classes, business offices, and internships don’t, and NOT because of the subject matter, but just because of how games are set up.

    Here are some primers:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_chatfield_7_ways_games_reward_the_brain.html

    I don’t know what to do with all of this yet, but so far I’ve come to the hesitant conclusion: It’s not that we should all play more video games, it’s that more of our choice architecture in the real world could be designed in ways parallel to how its designed in these virtual worlds (the speakers mention themes like constant feedback, rewards for effort, and a desire for epic meaning). In other words, our minds should be captured to handle real life problems the way they are when they deal with virtual problems.

    That’s interesting.

     
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